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Electronics news

ESP32-based hive monitor

Ben Brooks is getting back into beekeeping, and along with buzzing 'critters' comes a desire to keep them safe.

Using a hive monitor connected to Home Assistant, he displays and records temperature, humidity, light and weight readings.

The ESP32 microcontroller housed in the case sits on a custom PCB that also includes interfaces for temperature, humidity and light sensors. Load sensors located in each corner of the hive monitor its weight.

"Everything works pretty well and looks a lot neater and cleaner than the early designs," Brooks says of the first tests of the system. "Also, I already have a weather station in my house (where the hive is located), so I can use the outside temperature (and rain, which I can play with too). I decided to use 'apexcharts-card' to visualize the data, as the native chart map has a lot of limitations, especially when using multiple sensors with different values."

Brooks plans to replace the load cell system with strain gauges to improve reliability.